Omen of Sorrow Review

Omen of Sorrow harks back to the late 90’s era of fighting games. It’s simplistic, yet somehow obtuse to learn, with sharp, fluid combat and some…interesting character designs.  With just a few basic modes, there’s not much here to really appease anyone not interested in getting into this game proper and learning the characters, yet for fighter fans there are no doubt better options out there already.

That’s not to say OoS is bad. It’s just… average. With a heavy set Gothic theme running throughout, there’s initially some intrigue with how this’ll factor in to the game. In reality though, it merely makes things that bit more awkward to learn. All the moves have Latin-inspired names, which makes it hard to quickly pick out one in a list. The Command menu is equally confusing – especially to a fighter novice like myself. Tiny icons that represent High and Low Kicks (HK/LK) and Punched (HP/LP) are nestled next to strings of inputs. This in itself is not too uncommon, but there are extra caveats to be aware of that unless we spend time with just one character will end up getting in the way of the punchy-punchy.

As well as direction and current position (i.e standing, jumping etc), we need to be mindful of our EX bar, and whether we’re Blessed or have Impending or full on Doom. There’s a very brief summary of these effects in a pause menu, but as with much else here, unless we spend significant time learning it, it all just comes off as confusing and too much.

The fighters themselves are OK, all themed around various Gothic tropes. Naturally some are harder to learn than others, but all at least feel responsive in action. Pulling off some of the longer attack inputs is tricky mind. The AI even on medium are super hard, and cheap. One round saw me fighting against a character who had a long range fireball-type attack. They just stood and spammed that move over and over, and I had no way to counter it, meaning I lost the round. Frustrating, but then next round they practically let me kick their ass without so much as a block. Then once again in the third round they proceeded to destroy me.

This happened across all my solo sessions with OoS. No matter what stage of the Arcade mode I tried I would end up in this situation, though we can at least carry on and try again if we like. I did try to get into an Online match, but even just a week from launch I couldn’t find one. This is perhaps the biggest drawback to the game. It’s all well and good having systems to learn and master, but unless you’re OK with doing it just for you, it’s all a bit for nothing if there’s no like-minded player to fight against.

Conclusion

All in all, I fell that Omen of Sorrow is too much of a niche game in an already fairly niche genre. Very few fighters get enough traction to make it big, and unless you have a handful of equally dedicated mates to play with you’re probably better off elsewhere.

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This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox Series X/S. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version. Game provided by publisher.
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Good
  • Fluid enough combat
  • A good challenge that'll last a while...
Bad
  • ...though you'll be hard pressed to find others to put your skills to the test
  • Not very beginner friendly
5.5
Average
Gameplay - 6
Graphics - 6
Audio - 5
Longevity - 5
Written by
I've been gaming since Spy vs Spy on the Master System, growing up as a Sega kid before realising the joy of multi-platform gaming. These days I can mostly be found on smaller indie titles, the occasional big RPG and doing poorly at Rainbow Six: Siege. Gamertag: Enaksan

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